EE.UU: Yesterday, US initial jobless claims came in slightly higher than expected at 218k vs 210k. However, it remains close to the average of the last two years, showing a labour market that remains robust.
US Crude oil inventories turned negative again, declining by more than 7 million barrels against the expected 2.4 million barrels. Nevertheless, crude oil prices remain unresponsive and continue to fall around $72 per barrel WTI.
Spain: In December 2023, Spain’s consumer price inflation fell short of the market’s forecast of 3.4%, coming in at 3.1% year over year as opposed to 3.2% the month before. This preliminary estimate was released. Since August, this was the lowest rate.
China: An interim report on the nation’s 14th five-year plan, released this week by the parliament, states that Beijing would increase domestic demand, guarantee a swift economic recovery, and encourage steady growth. Additionally, analysts anticipate that the reserve requirement ratio and key lending rates may be lowered in 2024. Nevertheless, the country’s brittle and uneven economic recovery as well as the lack of strong policy backing disappointed markets, causing the Shanghai and Shenzhen indexes to fall by 3.7% and 13.5%, respectively, this year. Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland’s equity indices saw the largest percentage losses among the world’s major markets this year.
UK: In December 2023, the UK’s Nationwide House Price Index fell 1.8% year over year, somewhat less than the 2.0% decline in the month before and less than the 1.4% decline that the market had predicted.
2023 saw a continued slowdown in housing activity as the effects of rising mortgage rates were not sufficiently mitigated by decreasing prices and strong income growth. The analysis also demonstrated that low consumer confidence and waning buyer interest make a quick revival of the housing market in 2024 look unlikely.
Russia: December 2023 saw an increase in the S&P Global Russia Manufacturing PMI from 53.8 in November to 54.6. The number indicated that the sector was expanding at its quickest rate since January 2017 as a result of ongoing improvements in output and an increase in new orders. The pace of job growth accelerated to its highest level in three months, purchasing activity increased at its second-fastest rate since August 2006, and vendor performance continued to decline.
Oil: first yearly loss since 2020 as OPEC+ production cuts and geopolitical tensions failed to push prices higher, raising fears about growing global petroleum supply and impeding demand growth. About 10% has been taken off the US oil standard this year. The Israel-Hamas conflict, OPEC+ production cuts, and anticipation of US Federal Reserve interest rate reductions all contributed to the year’s brief spikes in oil prices.A prolonged fighting in Gaza, the possibility of Houthi rebel vessel attacks disrupting Red Sea trade, and Angola’s unexpected withdrawal from OPEC were among issues that plagued markets in December.